60 possible in southern Minnesota today!
50s likely today in metro!
69 = record high for the Twin Cities today (we won't get there)
40s for Brainerd, Duluth, Fargo & International Falls
2" snow depth this morning at MSP Airport
16" snow depth at Duluth!
Get ready for a "windshield washer warning" today. There will be a growing number of puddles in Minnesota today. Some may be as big as houses by late afternoon.
Our major warm up is here, the only question is how warm will it get?
The answer lies mostly in how much snow is on the ground where you live.
Snow cover plays a huge role in temperatures this time of year. As several factors favor quick warm ups....snow cover is the one factor that can thwart big temp rises.
As warm air blows in from the south, the snow cover acts to cool the air it comes into contact with. We call this "air mass modification."
You can feel that effect when you pull an ice tray out of the freezer, and hold your hand just over the top of it. Feel the cold? So does the atmosphere.
If not for snow, we could hit 60 today. A good strong south wind blowing over bare ground in Iowa should help boost temps into the lower 50s in southern Minnesota. The deepest snowpack of the season should keep temps in the 40s up north.
The snow that melts today should release additional moisture into the lower atmosphere. That could mean some thick fog as winds die down tonight.
Fire danger south!
One thing we can thank our new snow cover for is reduced fire danger in Minnesota....for now.
To the south, it's still bone dry in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. red Flag warnings are flying today for high fire danger.
The combination of dry bare ground, warm temps, low humidity and high winds will create explosive fire growth conditions today to our south.
Okay so maybe it's too early to start talking about buds bursting in Minnesota just yet. But it wont be long before you se those crocus bloom and daffodil shoots on the sunny side of your house!
Here's a great way to get involved in reporting some of your backyard "phenology." It's called "Project Budburst"
You can register and become part of a network of amateur phenologists who reports bloom times, leaf out, fall color changes etc. into a national database.
The data from "budburst" has already provided some interesting trends.
For example in the Chicago area, many spring plants are blooming days or weeks earlier than they did just decades ago.
Compared to the 1955-1994 period in Chicago, here are some bloom times in the last 5 years according to "Budburst" data:
Forsythia blooming 24 days earlier
Lilacs blooming 17 days earlier
You can hear more about shifting spring bloom times here from Chicago Public Radio.
You can check out Project Budburst here!
Enjoy the warm up!
60 degrees high temp in the metro Tuesday!
+24 degrees vs. average in the metro Tuesday
Warmest since November 12th (64degrees)
64 degrees in Owatonna
50 in International Falls!
30s along the North Shore (Winds off Lake Superior)
Cool front Wednesday back to the 30s & low 40s
60s this weekend in the metro?
Spring Fever, Minnesota style:
I remember these first warm days in March so well as a kid growing up in Minnesota. After the long, grueling winters of the 70s it was like a celebration stepping off the school bus into new lakes and mini rivers on every corner. It meant spring was in the air, and soon we'd turn the corner from a white landscape to a sea of green grass and bright blue skies.
Tuesday felt like spring in Minnesota. There was no holding back the smiles and extra bouncy steps as Minnesotans of all shapes and sizes splashed through puddles and strolled the streets.
Big temp contrast:
Check out the "Wundermap" below and you can see the huge temperatures contrast spanning Minnesota Tuesday. It hit 70 in Sioux Falls near the southwest corner of Minnesota. Meanwhile an east wind off a frigid Lake Superior and deep snow pack stalled temps in the 30s along the North Shore!
(click images to enlarge)
Cooler front Wednesday: A few showers?
A "cool" front will slide in from the north Wednesday. The front may trigger a few rain and snow showers, and will push temps back a little closer to reality for early March.
Highs in the 30s and low 40s return for mid-week.
Spring Fever Part II this weekend?
Temps soared past model guidance Tuesday. The sheer volume and intenisty of the warm air gushing north was underestiamted by the forecast models.
Yet another push of warm air is headed for Minnesota this weekend. In what could be "Spring Fever; The Sequel" ... warm southerly breezes will again blow by Saturday.
This time the snow cover should be almost gone in most of southern Minnesota, and there will be little to stop temps from soaring.
Temps should be into the 50s again Saturday, and the surge of warm air should peak Sunday afternoon as temps may shoot into the 60s in the Twin Cities and all of southern Minnesota!
March Outlook: Early Spring!
Other than a few brief cool downs it looks like spring is here to stay this year...in March!
The medium range maps hint at many days in the 50s and 60s ahead this month, and little if any snow.
In fact it looks like rain is more likely this month. And some of it could be heavy...with the season's first T-Storms arriving toward mid month.
Enjoy...and stay tuned!